Collectible dolls retain popularity
The Chiquita Bananas have been associated with dancing and singing to the calypso beat since 1944. Songwriters, Len MacKensie and Garth Montgomery wrote the first jingle.
“I’m Chiquita Banana and I’ve come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way.
Banana’s like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.”
This jingle was included in a full page advertisement in the Better Homes & Gardens magazine, December, 1956. The United Fruit Company trademark, a Chiquita Banana Girl dressed in a south-of-the border sombrero and a calypso costume, is pictured peeling a banana in the ad.
The Chiquita Banana Girl, full-figure trademark was designed in 1944 by an ad agency. Initially the Chiquita Banana Girl was pictured in banana gold and red on the banana seals. The full-figure Chiquita Banana Girl appeared in the United Fruit Company ads in the 1940s and 50s.
The company name was changed to Chiquita Brands Incorporated in 1970. From then on company premiums were offered from time to time and banana seals were required. A banana is just a banana until a consumer sees the seal.
Customers collected the seals for a good reason. Some of the first Chiquita Banana premiums of the 1970s included a plastic compass that required $2.50 and three Chiquita Banana seals. For three seals and $13.95 any one could get the banana shaped Walkie-Talkies that children especially liked.
Little girls enjoyed the Miss Chiquita cloth doll, made by the Chaseline Division of the Chase Bag Company in Reidsville, N.C. that was first offered in 1974. The dolls were advertised in the women’s magazines and Sunday newspapers for $1.75 and two Chiquita Banana seals.
The Miss Chiquita rag dolls, which were once desired by the youth, are now Ad World collectibles. They are 15-inch dolls stuffed with cotton. Miss Chiquita has a long and lean body, curved like a banana and the color of bananas. Banana yellow, arms and legs were added to the doll. Strange as it may seem there is not a line separating the face and bodice. The design of the Chiquita Banana seal was changed and a blue seal with a gold outline of the top half of a Chiquita Banana is now used to identify every Chiquita Banana. It is this seal that is printed on the dolls bodice.
Miss Chiquita Banana has ruffled red print sleeves on her shoulders, a matching red print tiered skirt, red ballerina shoes with laces, and a red sombrero decorated with fruit. None of the clothing is removable.
Checking in with the Internet auctions, there are several Miss Chiquita Banana dolls from 1974 available. There is a problem however, after 43 years it is difficult to find a doll that is mint in the bag or even in good enough condition to satisfy an Ad World doll collector. Good luck finding Miss Chiquita!